A Vision for the Indian Economy


You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one – John Lennon

This New Year my message to readers was … Lets dream BIG in 2014.

Six months later, I certainly feel we have made some progress and a lot of terrific things are happening around us. The political and government scenario. The stock market. The optimism in the air. All are very positive.

The last few weeks, I have seen a lot of articles in newspapers and magazines which gave a wish list to government for some sector – such as banking, infrastructure, environmental clearances, education & HRD, etc.

Lets step back and dream a bigger dream.

Look at this graph prepared by financial services firm, J P Morgan.


(This graphic is from this page LINK).

In the year 1700, India was #1 in the world in GDP, ahead of China and far ahead of UK and France and other leading countries of that time. USA was barely there.

In the 300 years since, India lost its freedom, and the Industrial Revolution happened, that bypassed India.  Our country steadily weakened on this GDP list till 1980, after which it appears to be at least growing its share. Even our freedom apparently did not result in relative wealth improvement till 1980.

However in the last 34 years, I think India has absorbed all the modern world Revolutions and is a vibrant country.

Its time to think of the next 30 years as our time to return to this primary #1 position globally.

This is a grand vision. But this grand vision is nothing if not broken down into a series of smaller targets. The first target I can think of is China.

India has a lot in common with China. We are neighbors. We are population wise and country size wise close to each other. Before 1700 we can see that China & India dominated world wealth and civilizations.

In the period from 1980 to now, China has provided economic freedom to its people, encouraging business, entrepreneurship, and attracting industry worldwide to invest in factories. It has invested in its own infrastructure, and build its economy. It’s done a wonderful job. Literacy is up. Population growth is falling. Lifestyles are improving.

It is on its way to the #2 position.

India needs to get to the #1 position again. To start with by matching China on the industrial and infrastructure side. In the next 10 years.

We need to learn from China. And we need to be as good as them in 10 years. But how?

Lets look at these figures of GDP growth for India & China

CNI gdp growth

China has averaged 8-10% while India has averaged 4-5% in the last 28 years.

So the next target has to be a 7% plus GDP growth rate for the next 10 years. And we have to Think BIG.

This does not appear difficult since we have done over 7% in 6 of the last 28 years.

Somehow I feel the big government constraint – across Indian PSUs, education, tourism, Oil & Gas, etc. sectors, may not be an issue from here. Partly because of the new government. Partly because the times are changing.

I pray some of our business and government leaders are thinking on these lines. They need to dream on these lines for their businesses, or for their Ministry. Many of our industries and firms need to be globally competitive.

And for each of us? We need to dream this in our daily work.

  • For the salesman, make two additional calls today.
  • For the factory worker, produce two more manufactured parts from your lathe or machine tool today.
  • For the CEO, hire more, fire less and give your staff a dream for their company.
  • For the retired CA, get active again, and teach young students finance.
  • For me, I need to create an additional investment report this month.

We have just 10 years.



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